During her annual Christmas address, Queen Elizabeth will also pay tribute to London and Manchester's resilience in the wake of terror attacks earlier this year

By Lindsay Kimble and Simon Perry
December 24, 2017 09:02 PM
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Queen Elizabeth is keeping her sentiments focused on home during her annual Christmas message, paying tribute to her husband Prince Philip as well as the people of the United Kingdom during the 2017 broadcast.

Honoring the Duke of Edinburgh, 96 — with whom she just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary — the Queen voiced praise for Philip’s “support and unique sense of humor.”

“I don’t know that anyone had invented the term ‘platinum’ for a 70th wedding anniversary when I was born,” she said. “You weren’t expected to be around that long. Even Prince Philip has decided it’s time to slow down a little – having, as he economically put it, “done his bit”. But I know his support and unique sense of humor will remain as strong as ever, as we enjoy spending time this Christmas with our family and look forward to welcoming new members into it next year.”

And like proud grandmothers and great-grandmothers everywhere, the Queen had a few beloved family photos on display on her desk during the broadcast. Framed photos of Prince George and Princess Charlotte sat nearest to the Queen. She also had a photo from her wedding day and the official portrait she and Philip took this year to mark their 70th wedding anniversary.

During the address, the Queen noted, “We think of our homes as places of warmth, familiarity and love… there is a timeless simplicity to the pull of home.”

She also noted the technological advances during her record-breaking reign: “Sixty years ago today, a young woman spoke about the speed of technological change as she presented the first television broadcast of its kind. She described the moment as a landmark.”

“Back then, who could have imagined that people would one day be watching this on laptops and mobile phones – as some of you are today. But I’m also struck by something that hasn’t changed. That, whatever the technology, many of you will be watching this at home.”

The 91-year-old also paid tribute to her country’s resilience amid terror attacks in 2017 on both London and Manchester.

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“This Christmas, I think of London and Manchester, whose powerful identities shone through over the past twelve months in the face of appalling attacks,” the Queen remarked.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who died and those who lost so much; and we are indebted to members of the emergency services who risked their own lives, this past year, saving others. Many of them, of course, will not be at home today because they are working, to protect us,” she said.

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The message was filmed this year in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace and also featured performances by the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir, conducted by Artistic Director Paul Carroll.

The choir comprised 52 children, in representation of the 52 nations of the Commonwealth.

For the occasion, the Queen wore an ivory white bouclé dress embellished with Swarovski crystals, designed by Angela Kelly.

The Queen’s address was broadcast on television and radio on Christmas day, and was also available on the Royal Channel on Youtube.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip headed from Buckingham Palace to Sandringham House last week, where they’re celebrating Christmas.

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Last year, the Queen skipped out on much of the festivities due to a heavy cold. She didn’t go out on Christmas Day for the services at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene and she wasn’t seen in public until early January. Then, she headed to church with Prince William and Kate Middleton – and helped them celebrate Kate’s 35th birthday, by entertaining the couple and their friends at a dinner.

In addition to further celebrating her and Philip’s anniversary, the royal couple will be joined by Prince Harry and fiancée Meghan Markle.